Week 11 DVOA Preview: Cowboys Top the NFC
The Buffalo Bills clung to the top spot in DVOA entering Monday Night Football in Week 11. But the Dallas Cowboys leapt into second place -- and first place in the NFC -- by hammering the Minnesota Vikings 40-3.
The Cowboys remained in second place in defensive DVOA, with the New England Patriots and Bills switching places in first and third place. The Cowboys only climbed from 13th to 12th place in offensive DVOA. But they won big while the Philadelphia Eagles (now fourth overall) narrowly avoided an upset at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens (third) struggled offensively in a 13-3 win over the Carolina Panthers.
Micah Parsons and the Cowboys pass rush are leading the charge, of course. The Cowboys lead the NFL with 42 sacks entering MNF. They’re tied with the Patriots and Tennessee Titans with 106 pass pressures, per Pro Football Reference. They lead the NFL with a 28.6% pressure rate.
As a result of all that pressure, Cowboys opponents average an NFL-low 174.5 passing yards per game and just 5.6 yards per passing play, the third-lowest figure in the NFL.
The Cowboys are also quietly getting outstanding play from their special teams. Brett Maher is 12-of-12 inside of 50-yards and 7-of-9 beyond 50 yards, including Sunday’s 60-yarder. Bryan Anger is averaging 48.7 yards per punt. KaVontae Turpin has produced a 52-yard punt return and 63 yard kickoff return. It has all helped to take pressure off Dak Prescott and the brilliant-but-erratic Cowboys offense.
The Vikings plummeted from 17th to 23rd with Sunday's loss. We probably don't need to explain why.